Avoiding The Next Revolution
June 28, 2012: The government has had reports issued denying American and Japanese studies of the rapid expansion of Chinese military power in the last decade. The Chinese reports were issued in Chinese, English and Japanese. China's official line is that their armed forces are only for defense and are growing at a far more modest rate than foreign analysts are claiming. The Chinese are having a hard time refuting the foreign analysts, given the availability of satellite photos and many cell phone images of new Chinese weapons. China tries to control this sort of information leak, but has been unable to do so.
Another problem for China is the fact that internal propaganda campaigns cannot be kept secret from the outside world. This was never possible, but even with a heavily censored Chinese Internet, such embarrassing news quickly gets to an international audience very quickly. The latest example of this is remarks by Chinese officials about the "Great Wall of China." The new claims are that the wall was larger than its current official size, and incorporates parts of North Korea. This was alarming news in South Korea, which is preparing to take over North Korea when the communist dictatorship up there collapses. The collapse is expected soon. With this new "Great Wall" argument the Chinese are announcing that if the North Korean government losses control, China will reclaim some "lost provinces" and the foreigners (including South Korea, Japan and the United States) had better stay out of it.
Another vulnerability of the Chinese thought control program is the growing number of Chinese tourists and business visitors going overseas. The number of visitors to the United States, for example, has increased five times in the last eight years, to over a million a year. Many more visit Asian countries and Europe. In all these places, Chinese can pick up news and ideas that are officially forbidden back home.
Despite increased censorship on the Chinese version of twitter (microblogs), Chinese continue to discuss forbidden subjects (mainly about corruption at the top and Chinese who openly protest the corruption and bad government). Internet researchers have found ways to capture copies of offending mincroblog posts before the government sensors do (and delete them). This kind of research has also revealed that the Chinese censors are not really going after individual offenders as much as they are seeking to prevent mass unrest from being ignited. Thus sometimes even the arrest and punishment of Internet offenders is not publicized, lest this get a mass protest movement going. China has a growing problem with large groups of people hitting the streets to protest in the flesh. With the large amount of government corruption and inefficiency, there's a lot to protest. The Internet is seen as essential economically, but also the chief means of local protests turning into major ones. That is not to be allowed, at all costs.
Although many of the post-Cold War East European arms smugglers have been put out of business, there are still major gunrunners serving anyone who can pay. The major operators are Ukraine and China. The worst offender is China, which has long allowed its arms manufacturers to sell to just about anyone. That policy has not changed and business is better than ever with all those East Europeans, and their cheap Cold War surplus, out of action.
South Korean police have arrested several locals and charged them with stealing billions of dollars of technical secrets and passing the stuff on to Chinese firms. In this case, Taiwanese firms were also involved in obtaining some of the stolen tech.
In western China (Xinjiang province), Uighurs (ethnic Turks from Xinjiang province) are under increasing pressure from Han Chinese soldiers and police. Too many Uighurs continue to support anti-Han activity. Chinese officials have been publicly urging soldiers and police to be more aggressive against uncooperative Uighurs. The government tries hard to suppress the news of Uighurs unrest. The government has been at this for a long time, constantly shutting down web sites that promote Uighur autonomy, and other Uighur matters. The government accuses Uighur activists of endangering state security. This is part of an ongoing effort to suppress Uighur unhappiness with the growing number of Han Chinese moving to traditionally Uighur areas, and taking over the economy, and most of the good jobs. Same thing is happening in Tibet, where the government is using the same tools to keep everyone under control.
|"The chief aim of all government is to preserve the freedom of the citizen. His control over his person, his property, his movements, his business, his desires should be restrained only so far as the public welfare imperatively demands. The world is in more danger of being governed too much than too little.
It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.
Taxation can justly be levied for no purpose other than to provide revenue for the support of the government. To tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for the benefit of another is none the less robbery because done under the form of law and called taxation."
John W. Davis, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1924. Davis was one of the greatest trial and appellate lawyers in US history. He also served as the US Ambassador to the UK.